Later, in the pub:
’28 songs! I only put a pound in.’
‘These things happen. Now get your round in.’

“…corporate-dominated dystopias are the new zombies.”

Science fiction visions of the near future reflecting contemporary preoccupations, as usual. And io9 all like whatever and shit.

Meanwhile, still languishing in development: Lazarus.
Lazarus-panel

Might start another run through Fringe…

"Bring me Damon, Affleck, duct tape, the transmogrifier... and a pain au chocolat. "

“Bring me Damon, Affleck, duct tape, the transmogrifier… and a pain au chocolat. ”

Wednesday, deriving from Wines-day, the middle of the week and the day associated most closely with needing a stiffener to see you through to the weekend.

Over the last couple of days, nacreous clouds have been busting out all over. The BBC among other places has galleries of images of the mother-of-pearl effect atmospherical vapours.

A colleague into cloudspotting forwarded a link to this Guardian article from 10 years ago, ‘The cloud with a dangerous secret’. Cloudspert Gavin Pretor-Pinney (author of the well-worth-having Cloudspotters’ Guide) considered the portents to be gleaned in these airy swooshes of iridescent loveliness as ‘worrying’:

Besides causing beautiful opalescent colours, nacreous clouds’ tiny ice crystals also act to encourage chemical reactions between ozone and the chlorine and bromine that we have introduced into the atmosphere by our use of substances such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in aerosols and fridge mechanisms. Without the presence of stratospheric clouds, reactions leading to the destruction of the ozone layer are negligible. The nacreous cloud’s ice particles behave as nuclei on to which the ozone breakdown can take place.

Oh dear. Took the edge right off the delicious aerial show, the shimmering suddenly most melancholy. The ozone layer was at its thinnest in 2006, although 10 years on it is apparently on the mend, according to this Independent article from 2014:‘Ozone layer is healing…’. Of course, reading the rest of the headline and article, it seems a particularly small crumb of comfort to not be getting as much skin cancer from UV rays as we slowly continue to cook like frogs in a pot.

All of which context I will probably not mention to our three year old if we are watching the pretty sky again tomorrow morning.

First of the month, so I have spent the day attempting to dissuade children from pinching and punching each other in class. With little success or indeed enthusiasm, it tickles me to admit.

I’m not sure where “pinch and a punch, first of the month” came from – the wiktionary discussion about punch cups and snuff pinching seems plausible, but the phrase still seems more likely something invented by kids to enable random violence, especially factoring in the flicks and kicks.

It was always white rabbits in our family. It has become a little rite to wake up at the start of the month and find my mum has sent a text saying “White rabbits”, to which I habitually respond “Brown bunnies”. This is a whimsical family variant that sets us up nicely for the next few weeks, thank you very much.

And of course, it’s a leap year, so we have extra February.

Having set myself a goal of posting every day in January this year, it is most of all a slight relief to get to the end of the month having managed to keep up the effort. New year targets, resolutions, habit changes, whatever you want to call them, have to be managed to avoid leaving one’s self open to self-recrimination or disappointment. ‘Managed’ in a couple of senses, I suppose. This is one that I managed.

The most significant habit change has been to stop couching my material efforts as aims, in the simple future tense formation “I’m going to…”, or that worse and most wistful phrase “I need to…”. About a week and a bit in, I had a mental shift from “trying to post every day” to “posting every day”, and it became a self-sustaining endeavour.

Anyway, an ongoing positive experience. That’s enough end-of-month own trumpet tootling. Here is Bix Beiderbecke on cornet – much nicer:

Frankie “Tram” Trumbauer Orchestra feat. Bix Beiderbecke – Singin’ the Blues

Brain training apps get a bad press anyway, with accusations of massaged science, perhaps using snake oil. I was talking with a sibling today about the Elevate app (we have the Android OS in common as well as parents).

We have both been enjoying the mental calisthenics offered by Elevate, although I deleted it a while ago because of Android’s annoying memory partition limiting the amount of space for apps.

The OTHER reason I fell out with Elevate was this:

image

I mean, OK, I can do that, go on.

image

Right, and…?

image

OK, so…?

image

Hmmm, what? I can read without mouthing, thanks. Humming, though?

Maybe this reveals some fundamental flaw in my neurons, but seriously. Following a number of scientific attempts*, all I managed was the first sentence.

Radio on, no probs. Children playing three different games each while the radio’s on, easy. Activities, radio and marching band in the garden, BRING IT. But me, humming? Pffft.

*The number was 2.

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